Overkill are back with their 19th studio album and show no signs at all of slowing down. They have a new drummer since ‘The Grinding Wheel in Jason Bittner, but given he has played with the likes of Shadows Fall, Anthrax, Toxik plus Flotsam and Jetsam his metal credentials are definitely established, and he drives the band from the back (even though the actual drum sound is more than a little suspect). D.D. Verni and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth will soon be gathering in their pension, having formed the band as long ago as 1980, but even guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek “The Skull” Tailer will soon be celebrating 20 years, so here is a band with incredibly longevity and consistency. They have long since stopped trying anything significantly different, and as soon as the Overkill logo is sighted then one knows that here is thrash as it should be played, hard and fast and little in the way of anything fancy.
I was a huge fan of their last album, which I felt was the best of their career to date, but this one hasn’t grabbed me in the same way at all. It is okay, in fact it’s quite good, but it doesn’t have that touch of brilliance and class from the last one. I can’t put my finger on it, not sure if it is the songs, the arrangements or the production, as Bobby certainly hasn’t changed his approach and his rough-edged vocal style is still at the centre of all they do. I can’t imagine them ever releasing a bad album, but for me this certainly isn’t as essential as some of their others.